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[kwench] /kwɛntʃ/
verb (used with object)
to slake, satisfy, or allay (thirst, desires, passion, etc.).
to put out or extinguish (fire, flames, etc.).
to cool suddenly by plunging into a liquid, as in tempering steel by immersion in water.
to subdue or destroy; overcome; quell:
to quench an uprising.
Electronics. to terminate (the flow of electrons in a vacuum tube) by application of a voltage.
Origin of quench
1150-1200; Middle English quenchen, earlier cwenken; compare Old English -cwencan in ācwencan to quench (cf. a-3)
Related forms
quenchable, adjective
quenchableness, noun
quencher, noun
unquenchable, adjective
unquenched, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for unquenched
Historical Examples
  • Disease had crushed his body, but the indomitable spirit was unquenched.

  • "One hopes really you do," pursued the unquenched Mr. Cashmore.

    The Awkward Age Henry James
  • Then the rebellions of an unquenched romance, an untamed heart, beset him.

    The History of David Grieve Mrs. Humphry Ward
  • He saw all the unquenched love that shed anguish over that beautiful face, and took courage.

    Fashion and Famine Ann S. Stephens
  • They found the Talmudical restrictions incompatible with their hereditary and unquenched thirst for liberty.

  • The fruit of this persistency and unquenched love of country and its ancient traditions, is left to be enjoyed by us.

  • The fire of madness, unquenched by every misery, lit up his dark eye, and even on his compressed lip there was a curl of pride.

    Arthur O'Leary Charles James Lever
  • The pride of race, the unquenched spirit of the "lost cause," prompted it to stand out for better terms.

    The Negro and the Nation George S. Merriam
  • I shall no longer feel the agonies which now consume me, or be the prey of feelings unsatisfied, yet unquenched.

    Frankenstein Mary W. Shelley
  • She could not tell the rector of her aversion to Manston, and of her unquenched love for Edward.

    Desperate Remedies Thomas Hardy
British Dictionary definitions for unquenched


verb (transitive)
to satisfy (one's thirst, desires, etc); slake
to put out (a fire, flame, etc); extinguish
to put down or quell; suppress: to quench a rebellion
to cool (hot metal) by plunging it into cold water
(physics) to reduce the degree of (luminescence or phosphorescence) in (excited molecules or a material) by adding a suitable substance
  1. to suppress (sparking) when the current is cut off in an inductive circuit
  2. to suppress (an oscillation or discharge) in a component or device
Derived Forms
quenchable, adjective
quencher, noun
quenchless, adjective
Word Origin
Old English ācwencan to extinguish; related to Old Frisian quinka to vanish
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for unquenched



Old English acwencan "to quench" (of fire, light), from Proto-Germanic *cwandjan, probably a causative form of root of Old English cwincan "to go out, be extinguished," Old Frisian kwinka. Related: Quenched; quenching.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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